Inverness, California

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Inverness is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) located in western Marin County, California. Inverness is located on the southwest shore of Tomales Bay 3.5 miles (5.6 km) northwest of Point Reyes Station,[2] at an elevation of 43 feet (13 m).[1] In the 2000 census, the population was 1,421. The community is named after Inverness in Scotland by a Scots landowner.

Inverness is north of San Francisco, on a bay of the Pacific Ocean.



Inverness is located on the west shore of Tomales Bay, which runs southeast along the line of the San Andreas Fault. Surrounded by Point Reyes National Seashore, it is primarily a residential community, with little industry other than tourism. It has a small downtown area with a general store, post office, library, two restaurants and two gift shops. A third restaurant is located a short way north of downtown. There are also a number of hotels and inns spread throughout the town.

One aspect of the town is a concentration of recreational (and some commercial) boating. There is a small public marina, a few private piers, and the Inverness Yacht Club.

Portions of the John Carpenter film The Fog as well as most of his film Village of the Damned were shot in and around Inverness.


The town is a 15 miles or so from Drake's Bay on the Pacific Ocean, named after Sir Francis Drake, who explored the coast in the 17th Century. Although Drake's official log was lost, the ship's doctor's log described landing in an area that reminded him of the White Cliffs of Dover. Drake's Bay is backed by similar-looking cliffs, leading many to believe this is where the ship landed.

The region became the property of James Shafter, who began to develop the property in the 1890s. It became a summer resort where people from San Francisco and Oakland came to camp, hike and swim in Tomales Bay. Many built small summer cabins that still exist today. Small steamboats took day trippers down the bay to secluded beaches. They left from Brock Schreiber's boathouse, which has been preserved and is a prominent local landmark with its prominent sign "Launch for Hire".

The first post office opened in 1897.[2]

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